This is the week to hang up your apron and head to a locally owned restaurant to wine and dine. If you need an excuse, think of it as your chance to support the local economy.
That's because it is Local Restaurant Week. Event Coordinator Christa Hobart says the promotion will have a $4 million impact on Western New York. "That's a lot of money that's going through the economy," she said.
The trickle effect of dining at locally owned restaurants is what accounts for that multi-million dollar impact. "When you think about it, restaurants are busy," she said. "It's helping restaurant owners. It's helping the service people who work at the restaurant. It's helping the local food suppliers."
Hobart says this week could be called "distributor week" because food distributors are so busy. As far as restaurants, this week, there are 25 newcomers who are advised to be very busy as well. Hobart says they are usually "blown away" after seeing the impact of Local Restaurant Week.
The semi-annual promotion began in 2009 with 60 local restaurants. It was designed to lure customers into local establishments, for dinner, during a slow season. This week, about 200 restaurants are taking part, with more dining options. Some have added lunch. And this week, for the first time, some will also feature breakfast and brunch specials.
Organizers are hoping that area consumers steer away from chains and support local businesses this week. Hobart says spending money at a local restaurant pays off. "The fact is, it circulates through the community five times more than money spent at a national chain," she said.
To check out the dining deals, priced at $20.13. Go to localrestaurantweek.com or find more details at wkbw.com. Local Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, October 27.